Epic Fails

I said I would follow up on some of the recent tent failures. I sure hope some of these manufacturers are paying attention.
First the ColemanOzark Trails tent…

Tony Tent
Coleman

This tent could not withstand the 30 mph winds. First thing that failed was the door zipper. The owner used safety pins to shut it. Then, in the middle of the night when the winds picked up again, the owner went to sleep in his car and this is what he found in the morning. Two busted poles and the entire rain fly had ripped in half horizontally right across one of the windows.

Tony Tent 3
Coleman

Luckily no one was hurt although many of his belongings were damaged.

Then to the brand we originally thought was better…
The Bushnell tent…

Jim Tent 2
Bushnell

A pole snapped and his rain fly shredded into little strips. (You can’t see the damage to the rainfly in this photo, its on the back side). We all know that poles can break. This tent was only two months old though and it had only been set up on this site…so it had not been taken down and put back up repeatedly. It should have held up better. When he inquired into getting a replacement rainfly, the cost was $45.oo which is half the price of the tent originally. He opted to go for a different model of the Bushnell series. We wish him well.

The model he upgraded too was the same one we had. During the same time period, our main door zipper failed. To be fair, our tent was already 5 months old. I bought a hand held sewing machine and my husband helped me sew a different zipper that we had salvaged from another tent enclosure right over the old one. It lasted another 6 weeks. The day that zipper failed, a friend purchased a Kodiak Canvas tent for us so we were not even impacted by that failure.

Now, we have had the Kodiak for a few weeks. So far we love it. I already tripped on the door and ripped the corner of the zipper loose but it is fixable.
We have had rain already and it appears the tent is seasoned well. We found one tiny drip, wouldn’t you know it, right over my computer key board. You can’t see where it comes from and its so infrequent that you can stare and stare but it won’t drip when your looking. I can live with that.

The Kodiak does have a design flaw of sorts. You have to hand tighten the thumb screws on the support poles when you put them up. Several days of wind will work them loose and the tent starts to sag. No huge deal, you just go out and lift them up again.

What we really like is that canvas is so much quieter than the other tents. The wind may whip it around but its a fabric sound so its easy to bear. The flooring is heavy duty too which most tents seem to not even worry about and therefore they end up with holes in them. We did get the enclosure addition but unfortunately, the site we are in is not level enough to use it. (The tent pad is raised above a patio area by a good foot). Soon we hope to move on and set the entire tent up and enjoy the extra space.

So here I am guarding our current mansion. Gotta run for today…More soon.

Guard Peggy

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February 6, 2018 Almost two years…

I started blogging on Feb 22, 2016. Its been almost two years and while lots of things have changed, the life style remains the same with all its ups and downs.
August of this year makes three years of campground living, most of them in our tents. I say tent”s” because we sure have had our experiences in many different brands with some success and some epic fails.

Since my last post, we have upgraded to our dream tent…Canvas! A Kodiak Canvas. The basic foot print is 9×12 but we also have a fantastic enclosed addition and a side awning that when fully set up makes our living space 18 x 18. While we had no plans to have something so big, our benefactor that purchased it for us wanted to make sure we had the options. The enclosed area can’t be used in the campground we are currently in but we have plans to move a little further south to a less expensive campground with a few less issues to be dealt with daily. A place that will allow us to fully use this wonderful gift we have been given.

The timing could not be better yet worse all at the same time. Our truck of 18 years has reached the end of it life and is no longer fixable. Our income does not allow us to replace our vehicle so we feel kind of stuck. So I came up with a plan to rent a vehicle to relocate and the cost savings might allow us to save a little more towards a different vehicle down the road somewhere. In the mean time, I started a go-fund-me page and hope someone out there has an understanding how difficult it can be to live in this situation.

Few people have any kind of understanding of what it means to live so far below the poverty line that you literally struggle to buy dish soap, let alone anything of any value. Don’t get me wrong, we knew when we started this life journey that there would be times when we would struggle and most of the time, its fine, we make it somehow. We don’t have much but we do have each other and that is what matters most of all. We feel God has provided some really nice things for us (first a mini fridge and now a new better tent) and we live by the faith that our needs will be met. Sometimes its hard to wait.

There is a tremendous difference between wants and needs and we are very aware of the difference. So we have asked ourselves if a vehicle is a need. As far as I can tell, it most certainly is a need. We live in a desert environment that requires you to move to cooler states when the summer time temperatures hit the 120’s. In order to move, you have to have something that can carry your tent and the small amount of personal effects we still own. So far, we have been able to pack everything we own into the back of a Chevy S-10. Most people could not put everything from one room of thier homes into the back of a truck this size. Guess that means we have fully downsized to needs only items.

But I digress into the madness of daily living struggles. Truth is, we would still love to field test tents for the manufacturers that keep putting shoddy tents on the market. In my next post (hopefully in a day or two) I will upload some photos of the last great wind storm damage to us and our neighbors tents. Two tents were totally destroyed and two more took some serious damage (our old tent included). Tent failures are something long term tenters consider seriously. Sure, we know we have to replace the common tent every six months because we use them daily and not just for infrequent weekend camping trips. That doesn’t make it any easier to deal with but $200 or less every six months tends to be far cheaper than property taxes so we don’t grumble too much. That is no excuse for shoddy workmanship though so I intend to highlight the stories of those involved.

Final thoughts…Never let fear stop you from living, always invite challenge into your life so you will learn your limits, and always embrace what life throws at you as it will give you stories to tell when you get older.

Happy Camping to my fellow tenters. To everyone else…What are you waiting for?